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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  February 11, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EST

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than anything obviously the maine caucuses even a lot more for the republican candidates but this is something of course that the campaign certainly always keeps a close eye on, wolf. >> brianna keilar at the white house, thanks very, very much. we're only minutes away from getting the results out of the maine caucuses. stay with cnn cnn, our special coverage continues right now. the president has been done by ronald reagan. >> too close to call. >> george w. bush reelected. >> barack obama president-elect of the united states. >> this is cnn. >> special cover annual of the maine caucuses, we're standing by to learn the results this hour. -- captions by vitac --
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i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. we're counting down to the results in maine and we could learn those results within minutes. our reporters are standing by, shannon travis is over at gop headquarters in maine, where we will see the results announced. mary snow is over at ron paul's headquarters in maine tonight. we also have members of the best
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political team, glornlgia borger, donna brazile, david frum and of course john king at the magic wall to map out all the numbers for us, where we're going from here. let's go to maine, shannon travis is over at gop headquarters. we will see the results announced fairly soon, shannon, walk us through what's going on right now. >> reporter: let me just tell you first off, wolf, it's getting pretty crowded where i am. this is the portland regency in portland, maine, where they are going to be announcing the results. i'll have my cameraman pan over and show you what's going on, a lot of prominent republicans, prominent maine politicians enjoying themselves but waiting just like the rest of us are for what the results will be and about under we expect between 15 and 20 minutes i'll have my camera man pan back this way as well. you probably can't see just beyond the podium, charlie webster the republican party chairman in maine here, he will
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go up there and announce who actually won between ron paul, mitt romney, rick santorum, how he did, newt gingrich, how he did, and so we're all waiting with the rest of the people here on what those results might be. wolf? >> we'll have that live coverage coming up, shannon, stand by. we want to stay in maine. mary snow at ron paul headquarters in portland, maine. we'll be speaking with ron paul shortly after the results are announced. how are the expectations as far as a win, they need a win, the ron paul campaign, they haven't had one yet. do they expect that he will get a win tonight? >> reporter: ron paul's been saying he's cautiously optimistic, and wolf, he is the only presidential candidate in the state tonight waiting for those results. personally, he has campaigned in this state more than any of the candidates. he is vying for those 21 delegates that are at stake, his ground operations began several
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months ago, and what he is saying is that maine has prided itself on its independents and that is what ron paul is appealing to. >> less government, sound money and foreign policy, and it seems to resonate here better than some of the other parts of the country. >> reporter: here at ron paul's headquarters in portland, maine, supporters are filling up this room. he's expected to speak once the results come in and you know the supporters here, wolf, are saying that they feel it is important for him to win, to gain momentum but just a short time ago when i spoke to the campaign they are saying they expect this to be very tight, fewer than 100 votes making the difference. wolf? >> we'll see how close it is. mitt romney did hit the maine caucus sites earlier in the day, pulling for a much needed bounce after an embarrassing triple
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state loss to rick santorum earlier this week. >> i want to go to washington and in four to eight years, sounds like a sentence, it's not, in four to eight years i want to get this country on track again and i believe i can do that and i want to ask for your help today. if you haven't made up your mind i want to ask you if -- [ cheers and applause ] i want to ask you and the people of maine for your vote. if i get your vote, it will help me become our nominee. if i become our nominee, i'm going to beat this guy and bring america back. >> let's go to john king at the magic wall. you'd think it would be a slam dunk, mitt romney from new england, neighboring massachusetts, but not necessarily. >> not necessarily. it's a quirky state. two somewhat liberal republican senators but tea party governor,
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paul he will page. independence of the governor of maine. there's a strong ron paul libertarian base. we won't get county results tonight, it's a caucus state and that's one of the reasons the romney people are nervous because ron paul has done well in caucuses, rick santorum i just heard the interview in the last hour is not competing up here but grassroots conservatives, christian conserve tifrs, tea party conservatives tend to dominate the smaller caucus settings. several romney people involved in the ground operation up in maine and they are reasonably confident of getting a victory and view ron paul as the only significant threat in maine. where does maine stack? the ninth state to vote, purple, santorum in the middle, iowa, minnesota, missouri. missouri didn't bring in many delegates, santorum winning in colorado. rick santorum has more victories on this day. governor romney wins in new hampshire, florida and nevada. he'd like to pull even with senator santorum and add maine because the rest of the month
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the race goes to michigan and arizona, two states that as we speak tonight it's been a volatile race but as we speak governor romney believes he has the leg up in both michigan and arizona. we would like to get a boost out of maine to help with that effort. >> you never know in the next two weeks what could happen. he had the leg up in colorado and didn't work out that well. don't go too far. we'll take a quick break. when we come back we'll get the results, the winner of the main caucuses. stay with us. our coverage continues. so who ordered the cereal that can help lower cholesterol
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i have twins, 21 years old. each kid has their own path. they grow up, and they're out having their life. i really started to talk to them about the things that are important that they have to take ownership over. my name's colleen stiles, and my kids and i did our wills on legalzoom. [ shapiro ] we created legalzoom to help you take care of the ones you love. go to today and complete your will in minutes. at, we put the law on your side. we're getting ready for the results to come in from maine. susan collins the republican senator from maine doing a little bit of a pep talk to the maine delegates at republican party headquarters in maine. we'll get the results from charlie webster, the party chairman very, very soon.
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let's set the scene for what we're about to get. david gergen, if ron paul wins, if he beats mitt romney in new england, what will that mean for romney? >> it will mean he's had the worst week of his campaign, and i think he's going to be in deeper trouble. the cpac victory he had earlier today will diminish in value if he were to lose maine tonight and truth, wolf, i think we've got a situation where mitt romney and ron paul need to win tonight, and the one of them is going to lose and the loser is going to get hurt. if it's ron paul, it's going to suggest even when he concentrates as he has on a caucus state like maine with its big libertarian streak, if you can't win maine it's hard to see where he wins. on the other hand if mitt romney in the neighboring state as you pointed out doesn't win in new england, and goes 0 for 4 this week, that is bad news for him. >> let me bring in gloria borger into the conversation. >> ron paul has spent an awful
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lot of time in the state of maine. i think he left florida once to campaign in maine and what was significant to me was that we saw mitt romney show up in maine. he hadn't been in maine until now, and so it was very clear that his campaign understands that at the very least, if he were to lose substantially to ron paul, that it would be a significant embarrassment for them particularly coming after the trifecta they lost last week. >> david, why did rick santorum and newt gingrich simply avoid maine? they presumably could have done fairly well. it doesn't take much to fly, it's an hour's flight from washington, d.c., spend a few hours, shake hands. we're not talking about a huge turnout in the maine caucuses. >> remember, there is this gravitational force we don't see, the time the candidates spend away from the campaign trail raising money. mitt romney has done a lot of that work already. he doesn't need to devote half his time or two-thirds of his time to that activity.
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rick santorum and newt gingrich, both are scrambled for funds and that takes a lot of their time. >> mitt romney, sos, save our status as a front-runner. david is right, the other david, that is if he wins tonight it will give him a little momentum coming after the symbolic vote at cpac, give him momentum before michigan and arizona. 21 delegates at stake, this say non-binding process tonight because the delegates will be allocated later. if romney comes through with a big win tonight this will help him regain status as a front-runner. >> we'll get a little bit of that badly needed political momentum. >> he will. ron paul really has an awful lot at stake here tonight because he has to show that he can win something. >> but he's not going anywhere. ron paul is in this, he has told me repeatedly if he were to drop out there'd be a rebellion among his supporters. >> if you read the interviews ron paul has done and you'll be
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speaking with him later he seems to admit it, he'd like to win in this state. they've put a lot into winning maine largely because they know that it's small, they can organize, libertarian streak as john king pointed out, quirky, independent voters, if they're going to win anywhere, they're going to win in maine and so -- >> a lot of college students. >> shannon travis is over there at republican party headquarters. what are you seeing and hearing, shannon? >> reporter: senator susan collins, republican of maine here is up on the podium right now and just after her we're expecting for charlie webster to take over at the podium and read those results, everybody here is pretty much just listening to collins right now, waiting for those results to come in as we are. we'll have it live, obviously, wolf. >> we're going to get back to you as soon as susan collins wraps up. charlie webster, republican party chairman will go to the microphone and make the formal announcement. they've already counted the
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ballots? >> reporter: i spoke with charlie webster a few moments ago. he was walking around with an envelope. he said these were the results. he wasn't revealing the numbers to anyone. he wants to wait for a few moments to reveal them to everybody, wolf. >> we'll get right back to you shannon as susan senator susan collins wraps up her pep talk to the supporters, republicans who have shown up in the caucus in maine. david gergen you're in maine yourself. this is tailor made certainly for mitt romney who is from massachusetts, but it certainly is tailor made for ron paul as well. >> it is, although it seems a more natural state for mitt romney, he did win the caucuses there with 52% four years ago, and ron paul came in with only 18%. so i think it's historically been more of a romney type state, but a time and attention that ron paul has paid to maine,
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donna made this point about rick santorum, going in and visiting often makes a difference here and one of the things interesting so far, we have heard the turnout seems to be up in the caucuses. that's a sign that ron paul may be doing better than expected. >> when we're talking about turnout, david, it's not a huge, hundreds of thousands of folks showing up, there will be several thousand but not a whole lot more than that. >> right, and just remember it's thousands of people who are at cpac voted, too, a big crowd. here is the danger when i think of what is ahead for roll fee, if he has any bad news he has responded to bad news paying a heavy sacrifice that will hurt him later in the general election, that when newt gingrich surged in december, ron paul, sorry, mitt romney endorsed the ryan plan. he has been dragged this week and went along and got himself dragged into the contraception battle, done things he didn't need to do to pay off the right wing of the party which should be locked up behind him. if there's more bad news he'll pay more and it will hurt.
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>> john king, let me bring you into the conversation. if romney were to lose tonight no doubt he has to focus an enormous amount of efforts in arizona and michigan, two other states at the end of this month that will have contests and spend a lot of money than he would have preferred spending on super tuesday states. >> he already is spending money. let me come back to the maine point a little bit. i spoke to some romney people earlier voicing confidence because they realize how important this is and making more of an effort late than they would have made if they hadn't lost the states prior in the week. they understand it's not just about numbers, not just about wins, not just about delegates. there's a psychology in this race. romney was once inevitable and now viewed as fragile, weak. let's watch maine tonight. you mentioned michigan and arizona if we come up and look at tv ads the only one on tv in michigan right now is the romney campaign and the pro-romney super pac. bring the map out more and come
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over to arizona, the only candidate and only super pac on the air in arizona is pro-roment kn romney. romney was early on the air in florida, they're taking the same approach to michigan and arizona even as they hope in just a few minutes they get what would be a very helpful momentum wise psychology wise performance in maine. >> i think she's getting ready to wrap up, susan collins, and once she does we'll get the results of what's going on. wei want to bring donna brazile into the conversation. you ran the al gore campaign in 2000. money was important then but i suspect it's shaping up this time around given the unlimited sums that the super pacs deliver to be a more important factor. >> it's very important especially to get the organizations and these states that are coming up soon after you know arizona and michigan. wolf, i'll never forget back in
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2000 we were running out of money in the month of february and bill bradley was a threat -- >> this is when you wanted the nomination. >> early so we could prepare for george bush because we knew the republicans would end their primary season early. we had to rely on other outside groups to help us compete in that crucial month of february so look, i assume what mitt romney is doing is preparing for super tuesday where over 400 delegates will be at stake. if he does well tonight in maine, as they say, as maine goes hopefully so goes michigan and arizona. >> you think that's true, as maine goes, so does michigan and arizona? >> that was put to belittle and minimize the importance of maine. >> i think he'll make the announcement on the winter of the maine caucuses. >> maine is considered a beauty
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contest. [ laughter ] excuse me shall maine is considered the beauty contest when it comes to caucuses, that is to say there is no national delegates won or bound to any candidate in our caucus process. at the caucuses we elect state delegates, election clerks and some cases town officers. we do, ask those to take a poll of which presidential candidate they prefer. this is an unofficial, non-binding poll that just simply shows a snapshot or takes a current pulse of which presidential candidate has the most support at the participating caucuses throughout the state. some caucuses decided not to participate in this poll and will caucus after this announcement. their results will not be factors in, the fuel votes, will not be factored into the announcement. we will make the breakdown of the actual votes at the municipal polls available to campaigns and the press on
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february 13th. again, this is an unofficial non-binding poll and we will elect our national delegation from the florida state convention on may 5th and 6th. i'll announce the winner of the maine gop presidential poll. and that winner is mitt romney. [ cheers and applause ] excuse me. thank you. [ cheers and applause ] thank you. excuse me? [ cheers and applause ] okay. thank you. thank you. let me go on. mitt romney received 39% of the vote, a total of 2,190. ron paul received 36% of the vote, a total of 1,996 votes.
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santorum received 18% of the vote, with 989 votes, and gingrich received 6% of the vote with 349 votes. there were 61 votes cast for others besides these four nominees. [ laughter ] we would like to congratulate mitt romney on his win in this maine caucus. [ cheers and applause ] thank you, thank you. >> mitt, mitt, mitt, mitt, mitt! >> we would also like to thank both mitt romney and ron paul for personally visiting our state. [ cheers and applause ] and that's a big deal. maine people were excited to
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cast their first vote against the obama agenda, and our activists are excited to be working with our republican presidential nominee to defeat barack obama in maine. maine people are tired of obama's extreme agenda. >> that's right! >> we owe many thanks and congratulations to our volunteers across the state who worked so diligently organizing these caucuses. these caucuses would not have been possible without their commitment to our republican principles, and the commitment to supporting our political philosophy. it was one of those things that so many people turn out in maine to participate in this preference poll, and participate in our caucus process. we are truly a grassroots party, and work they started is critical to moving our party forward in winning this november. we look forward to selecting our national delegation to the maine state commission in may.
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i thank our activists who participated in the process, the success of this contest proves once again that maine people, the republican party is back. thousands of middle and lower income maine working people have spoken, and their choice was mitt romney. thank you. [ cheers and applause ] thank you. i want to -- thank you. before we end this meeting, i would like to acknowledge, i apologize for not doing so earlier, i'd like to acknowledge -- >> all right so there you have it, the results coming in from the republican party chairman in maine, charlie webster, a narrow victory for mitt romney in the maine caucuses, they call the beauty contest, 39% for romney, 36% for ron paul, 18% for rick santorum, 6% for newt gingrich. let's assess what has just happened. david gergen, what do you think?
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>> the name of the game is winning and mitt romney won. the percentage matters less than winning. and so he takes out of this week i think, he helps to salvage something this week, coming off these three big losses earlier in the week with the cpac vote this morning, or today, and now maine tonight. this puts him on better shape. i think he is the front-runner. i think that donna was right it is an s.o.s., that they helped to restore his status. it has to be somewhat disquieting if you're a pro in the romney campaign that last time he got 52% of the vote in maine, this time he's down to 39%. ron paul people can take some, you know, measure of credit from this, doubled the size of his vote from four years ago but he still lost and he put a lot of time and effort in this. to me this is significant that ron paul has been unable to bring out maine, because -- pull
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off maine because it suggests it's hard to see where he puts together the tapestry of victories that makes him a really credible candidate at a convention. he may have some delegates but he's not a credible candidate. >> we'll be speaking with ron paul shortly. stand by for that, gloria borger what is your immediate reaction? >> i think this is important for mitt romney, he avoided a major embarrassment. mitt romney changed his campaign schedule. he was in portland friday, he went to two caucuses today. he was supposed to take the day off today, but decided you know what? i need to show up. >> probably a good reason he did. >> probably a good reason he did, there were 194 votes separating these two men, and if ron paul had won, it would have been a different story. >> huge embarrassment for mitt romney. mary snow, he's going to be speaking to his supporters at some point, is that right, mary? >> reporter: yes, wolf, we do expect ron paul to come down fairly soon and speak to his
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supporters. you can imagine so many supporters here, so disappointed, really booing at the screen when those results came down. they really felt that ron paul could win his first victory, and before the results came in, some of the supporters had come here hours before the results, some from new hampshire and massachusetts, saying that it's very important, they thought, for him to win here and gain momentum. they say it will still not dull their support. one supporter said it will make him go out and work even harder but he was clearly the candidate who spent the most time here in maine campaigning. >> stand by, i want to go back to shannon travis at republican headquarters in portland, maine. you have a guest? >> reporter: yes, that's right, the man who just announced the results of the maine caucuses, charlie webster, chairman of the maine republican party. mr. chairman, the results were only separated by a few votes, a small margin of victory for mitt romney. could that outcome have possibly
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changed because of what happened in washington county, they canceled their caucuses due to weather and recent death of a young girl. could the outcome have possibly changed? >> probably wouldn't have been enough votes cast there, maybe even 150 people attending, you'd have to assume the votes would have been divided up so i don't think it really would have affected it. >> reporter: what's the history of the voting patterns in the area in washington county? >> washington county say conservative part of the state so it would be fair to assume gingrich or santorum would have done really well. who knows. >> reporter: earlier you gave me an estimate of how many votes might have been cast. >> a high turnout would be a couple hundred so you assume they would have been split up among the four candidates. >> reporter: so it's possible that the margin of victory could have been even slimmer or perhaps even a flip of the results? >> not really. i think there was 192 votes, between 195, whatever it was so it's unlikely all 195 people
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attending in washington county would have supported one candidate. >> reporter: with mitt romney only campaigning here for the first time starting yesterday and today, this election cycle, why do you think that that helped put him over the edge? >> well, i think people in maine are pretty independent thinking and congressman paul worked really hard here, his people worked hard and even though romney has been here a dozen times in the last five years, the fact that he came, made a difference. >> reporter: and how do you think maine will play in the general election going forward? >> i think we have a real shot depending on who our nominee is. maine is not as blue as it used to be. we think it's red now. there are pockets where maine's liberal but in rural maine, where we have a lot of working people they vote republican. >> reporter: do you think some of maine's electoral votes could split and go gop, some to obama? >> absolutely. i think we could win this outright or we could get three votes here. that's my opinion. >> reporter: thank you a lot mr. chairman.
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thanks a lot. wolf there you have it, the republican chair saying it probably wouldn't have made much difference had the caucus been held in washington county. >> thank the chairman for us as well, ron paul getting ready to speak to his supporters out there, i want to hear what he has to say. he's going to be walking out momentarily, and i'm sure he is severely disappointed. mitt romney got 39% of the maine caucuses, ron paul 36%. 2,190 votes for mitt romney to 1,996 for ron paul, a difference of only 194, and i'm sure a lot of the ron paul supporters are saying to themselves, if only they had worked a little bit harder, maybe they could have changed the result and created the first win for ron paul in this presidential nomination process. ron paul is walking out, he's going to be speaking right now. i hope whoever is holding up that ron paul sign drops it so
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we can see ron paul. let's listen in to ron paul. >> thank you. [ cheers and applause ] thank you. just remember, the revolution is only beginning. [ cheers and applause ] we have a ways to go. i do want to recognize the staff and all of you, all of the volunteers and all of the work that's been done has been fantastic. thank you very much. it encourages me because it's an important issue. thank you. but you know, i have one slightly discouraging announcement. i wish all the caucuses had met today. because i was disappointed there was one caucus that i think we would have done very, very well but we lost by i guess almost
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200 votes, 190 votes. it's almost like we could call it a tie, but anyway -- the votes will be counted. all the caucuses will meet, but i do want to make a prediction. if i were a betting man, and i do not have $10,000 to bet -- [ laughter ] if i were a betting man, i would bet that we will control the maine caucus when we go to tampa! ch, chrs it would have been great to win outright the straw vote, but it will even be greater to win the delegate vote. and that's going to happen. the momentum is going to continue. we're not going away.
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we're going to be in all these places where we're going to pick up, continue to pick up the delegates. for one good reason -- we have the message that america needs at this particular time. the wonderful thing is the message is not complex. everybody understands it, and the message is liberty. that is the message. that means we want our freedom. we want each and every individual to have their freedom, not because they belong to a group, not because they belong to one state or another. it's because we are individuals, that we are born with our freedom and we have a natural right to our liberties. it's a god-given right and follows that if you have a right to your life, you have a right to your liberty to run your life as you choose in a social and economic means evand if that is
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the case the goal is to have is for us to keep the fruits of our labor. now this is not a brand new concept. it's an american concept. we tried it. it was working very well, and unfortunately, many, many decades ago we started slipping away and took it for granted. we turned into a society that thought only that you redistributed wealth both by force and coercion and lobbying and we forgot about what brought about prosperity and production, and it's only free people that can do it, the understand of property rights and contract rights and for prosperity to thrive, you have to have an honest monetary system.
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and if we don't do t they'll do it to themselves because it's nonviable. they cannot persist, because the funny money system, the paper money system makes no sense whatsoever, and it's coming to an end. it always bothered me that we would believe in liberty never did a good job selling it especially when we were prosperous and consuming our wealth, but we shouldn't ever lose this because it is now that we have to grab the moral high ground. for too long those who wanted to take your wealth and give it to somebody else or get involved in any of your social life, and tell you how to live, and also to get involved in other countries that we shouldn't be involved, that's coming to an end. the country is bankrupt and the
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most important thing the american people do right now is admit the truth. we cannot deny the truth, and the truth is that we can't continue this way. we have to either go in a desperately wrong direction as we have been or we have to stop the nonsense, look to our traditions, and not go backwards and act as we did 200 years ago, but pick up on that, because freedom was never perfect. freedom has been developed over many, many centuries. it's sad to me when i see some of the fundamentals that have been recognized at the time of the magna carta in 1512 -- 1215, we're undermining some of the basic principles, so we have a desperate struggle now to reassert ourselves and say liberty is what we want. we know what it's all about. we've had it, and we've gotten careless and it's drifted away. so now the country is waking up, the country is waking up for
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financial reasons. everybody knows we're bankrupt. the social programs can't be financed. the world is involved in this. it's a dollar fiat standard that engulfs the world. look at europe the mess they have. they're rioting in greece because they have to cut a little bit. so what is the plaen? bernanke is planning to bail them out with our dollars. [ booing ] the debt when it gets this big, should it be liquidated? it shouldn't be dumped on the people and that is what we have been doing for the last three or four years and it needs to stop. but we need to ask, really a very basic question, what should the role of government be. that's the question of the founders of the country and those who led the revolution asked what should the role of government be. they didn't like the role the king had. the revolution was one of the
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very rare times that a revolution an overthrow of a government actually delivered more freedom to the people than they had before the revolution. look at the revolutions going on around the world today that we're very much involved in, unfortunately. they're ending up even with less, as bad as their governments were, just like of what's happening today. so we had more liberty, not less liberty, and we need to build on that and understand how important it is. but the role of government should be no more complicated than guaranteeing you the right to your life and the right to your liberty. what does that mean? the government should be out of the economy. they say there's no regulations? yes, you have the regulations of property rights and the regulations of market, the regulations of contracts, the regulations of sound money, the regulations of bankruptcy, the regulations of don't bail out anybody that comes to the government for bailouts. those are regulations that are truly free market oriented but it also means that the government ought to be out of our social lives in the way we
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run our lives. for too long we've taken liberty and chopped it into two pieces, social liberty, personal liberty and religious liberty, some defend that and economic liberty. individual liberty, we have the right to our life and the right to our country. but if our goal is peace and prosperity we have to have the property rights and have to have the sound money, we have to have limited government and restraints but we also have to have a different foreign policy. we have a foreign policy that is deeply flawed, and it is the foreign policy that always brings great nations down, and nations that overextend themselves, in our recent history what brought the soviets down? when the soviets came -- i was drafted in the '60s. they had 30,000 nuclear missiles
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and we didn't have to fight them but they collapsed because of their deeply flawed economic policy and their foreign policy of overextending themselves and we're doing the very same thing. people would like us to think so often, tonight we're going to talk about foreign policy. the other night we're going to be talking about economic policy. how can you talk about economic policy without dealing with all the spending overseas? that is why we need our troops to come home! we need a policy which is constitutional. the founders gave us guidelines. they said shouldn't go to war unless you declare it. we have a responsibility for a strong national defense, but today, our presidents don't come to the congress and to the people and say declare the war or not declare the war. they just go to war. sometimes they consult. sometimes they don't consult with the congress, but they're
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always overly willing to consult request nato and take their marching orders for the u.n. that's wrong. [ booing ] so therefore, a foreign policy of nonintervention, minding our own business, stay out of policing the world and stay out of nation building. that is the road to peace and prosperity. that is what we have to go for. under the circumstances that we live today, where we allow our government to grow so big, governments cannot grow unless they undermine personal liberty. every time government writes another rule or regulations, no matter how it comes about, it undermines our personal liberty. but it does it in a more sinister way because when people get frightened about foreign policy issues or economic issues they think i'm frightened, the government is supposed to take care of me and i'm entitled to it so i have a right to this and they're so willing to give up their freedoms and we were warned so clearly that you can't be safer by giving up your
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liberties. we never should have to give up our liberties in order to pretend that we might be a little safer. >> ron paul getting ready to wrap up his remarks. we'll be speaking with him shortly as well. he did well today but he did not win. he doubled what he did four years ago, four years ago at the maine caucuses he got 18%. now he got 36%. the problem forever h him, romn 39%. romney got 52% four years ago. much more of our coverage of the maine caucuses and we're looking ahead to arizona and michigan, when we come back.
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mitt romney the winner of the maine caucuses but narrowly, 39% to ron paul's 36%. john king is over there at the magic wall. john, your romney sources thought he would win and guess
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what? they were right, but it wasn't overwhelming by any means. >> not at all but "we needed today" was the three-word e-mail i got from one of the sources i was talking to earlier today. we talked about the psychology, governor romney a horrible week, governor santorum winning here in minnesota, missouri and colorado. today is nonbinding but it does impact the process down the radioed. our initial cnn delegate estimate is this, we estimate now governor romney will pick up six delegates in maine at least. congressman paul will get five, senator santorum three and speaker gingrich zero is our initial projection. we can't estimate the rest of the delegates until we get the detailed returns at the congressional district level and break the results down by congressional district we'll estimate the other delegates. they will be decided down the road as the party chairman noted but today's vote gives you a sense of where they will go. 21 delegates at stake we've been
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able to statement some of them here. coming into the day, 1,144 to win the nomination, early, governor romney leading with 115, gingrich and santorum in a close battle for second, congressman paul. we give the state of maine to governor romney and romney pulls up a little bit to 121, gingrich and santorum essentially tied a long way to get out here to 1,044. michigan and arizona coming up at the end of february so we're slowly starting to add delegates. 25 delegates in iowa, the first contest, 21 in maine, new hampshire was 22. if you win with the new republican rules, proportional bases early on, governor romney ahead just inches a little bit more. >> very early in the process, john, thank you. david gergen if this were a baseball game and you look at the numbers i'd think we're
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still in the first inning. >> absolutely and top of the first inning. we've got a long, long way to go. i think the other interesting question coming out of today is that newt gingrich did not do well, either at ccpac or in maine. is he fading soment? is santorum emerging more and more as the conservative alternative to mitt romney? will people coalesce, the conservatives coalesce behind santorum in the next two in michigan? we have to wait and see on that but i think mitt romney clearly has had a very, very good day but the other issue here is santorum over the longer haul. >> i think david gergen makes a good point, gloria. newt gingrich not a good day at all, only 6%. even though you didn't go up and campaign but that's not a vote of confidence. >> it isn't. it reminds you of the fluidity of the race. at romney headquarters they breathe a sigh of relief. "overnight is a lifetime in poll tingz." talking about some people in the
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campaign i was reminded that nevada was just one week ago, and we've been through up and down and up and down so mitt romney needed this win tonight. he got this win tonight. newt gingrich can say, you know, i didn't really compete, but ca compete. but newt gingrich is going to need to do well in arizona in particular which i think he's sort of banking on. >> hold your thought for a moment. mitt romney was in maine earlier today. he should have stayed and spoke to the folks in maine, thank them for his victory. when we come back, ron paul will speak one-on-one with the republican presidential candidate.
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let's go to congressman ron paul joining us live right now. you got 18% four years ago and 36% now but mitt romney got 39%. you came in a close second. where do you go from maine? where is your priority in the coming days and weeks? >> well, somebody else would have to help me out exactly which state is where and what day it is going to be. but it is going to continue like we are doing the smaller states the caucus states where we can accumulate delegates. we had a good day. we are convinced we will win the majority of the delegates out of maine today. >> arizona is coming up and michigan are on the same day at the end of the month and washington state and super tuesday. any of those states you will up spend a lot of time in?
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>> to tell you the truth i'm not positive which ones if they are a caucus state that is where i'm going. i don't have my schedule going. but any place we can compete at a reasonable level and gain delegates. >> what is wrong with primaries. explain to our viewers the difference between a caucus state and a primary state. why can't ron paul compete in a primary state? >> i think it depends on a primary state. the one example that we stayed away from was florida. because you know, it was a total primary. it was a winner take all. if it's a primary state and proportional that's difficult. but to compete with someone with hundreds of millions of dollars is difficult. so for us to spend $25 million and the difficulty we have with raising money with the odds of not coming in first that is not a wise choice of spending money.
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so yes not all primaries will be off the table. if there is a good chance in one of the very expensive states and it is proportional we will be in those races. >> is it your sense that this contest is mitt romney's to lose? >> mitt romney what? >> do you think mitt romney is the front runner and it is his to lose. he has the money and the organization and the wherewithal to get the job done when the dust settles? >> i think he is pretty much there. he does have the money and the organization. he just doesn't have the enthusiasm that i think we have able to get in our crowds, you know, really excited about what he believes in. i think that's his biggest problem. but i would say yes he is out in front and people are picking away at him. he lost a few but he picked up a little steam today. you have to give him credit for
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that. >> of the three challenges for the republican presidential nomination whose views are closest to yours? >> i don't think -- i think they are all very close together. i think they all want more government and have the same foreign policy and monetary policy and same spending policy. none are talking about cutting spending. i think they are all in one group. for one of them to be closer to me i can't see that. it just happens that because i've known mitt a while longer he is friendlier but i don't sympathize more with his positions. i think i challenge at all three of them. how many people have you heard talk about concern about civil liberties and the patriot act and the fourth amendment. this is what energizes a lot of people but it's the other three
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don't do this. >> to you see a difference between the other three and president obama on the fundamental most important issues of the day? >> oh, yeah i think that i'll be better on taxes but on medical care, you know, santorum hasn't been good on medical care. he voted for prescription drug programs and voted to increase the deficit. so no i don't think any one would be a lot better. that is my problem. that's the problem with the country is that when you put people office you put a democrat in and he acts like a republican too much. and a republican acts like a democrat and they spend too much money. i don't see a lot of difference with them. >> we'll see you on the campaign trail also at the cnn debates. congressman thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> and cnn's coverage of america's choice 2012 continues right after this.
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